4 Jun 2015

Any innovative lawyers around?

JM left the following comment:
Maybe you described this in one of your books, but it would be useful to have a script, or at least some pointers, for when I show up at the STPUD board meeting and suggest that they change their pricing to reflect costs and water scarcity. I could use a simple statement that would make sense and could be backed up by authoritative reports etc.

I think most public utilities have a charter that says how they are allowed to increase prices. I would need a replacement for the language in that charter. I have no problem being an activist, but I want to have a workable solution to offer the board members. And yes, I agree they may want to look good to their constituents by not raising prices in order to win re-election. What's can I give them to counter that fear?
Can anyone help with proposed or enacted bylaws/regulations on setting water prices for conservation? Here's my attempt at a guideline...

Whereas,
  • Our community will need reliable, safe water services into the distant future.
  • Our community accepts responsibility for our water future.
  • Our community values the environment, the poor, business and individual freedom.
Let it here be known that our community requires that
  • Our obligation to maintain our demand within sustainable bounds be observed
  • Our water system be fully funded in terms of operations and renewal
  • Our water prices not discriminate among water users
  • Our system charges reflect users' "capacity requirements" and use
  • Customers' freedom to choose how to use water be respected
We therefore instruct our representatives to design policies for our approval and in compliance with these priorities and guidelines.

Amen.